In light of the changing distribution of African swine fever (ASF) in China and parts of Europe the department has undertaken additional activities to ensure that its biosecurity measures continue to protect Australia from this disease. ASF is a highly contagious viral disease of domestic and wild pigs. The disease has generally been present in countries of sub-Saharan Africa, and has more recently been reported in Eastern Europe (including the Ukraine and Russia). In August 2018, it was reported for the first time in China, and in September 2018 it was detected in wild boar in western Europe (Belgium) for the first time. In January 2019 Mongolia also first reported ASF. The department is responding actively to this situation. ASF has never occurred here and it is crucial that Australia remains free from the disease.
An outbreak of ASF in Australia would have significant impacts on pig production and health. In addition, our access to economically important international markets would be compromised. It would also be very difficult and costly to eradicate.
Humans are not susceptible to ASF
We all have a role in preventing exotic diseases, like ASF, arriving in Australia – even if we don’t own or work around farm animals.